“Hospitality Properties Trust (HPT) is a real estate investment trust (REIT). As of December 31, 2011, HPT owned 288 hotels with 42,632 rooms or suites, and 185 travel centers. Its properties are located in 44 states in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.”
Some time ago InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) announced a new hotel brand, to be named EVEN, which will be aimed at travellers who want to work out and eat healthy while travelling.
So what’s the connection?
I am a recent, small (very small) investor in HPT and I discovered it after I bought Temple REIT (TR.UN). For whoever cares, they can read about my hapless investment adventures on my other site (the link for which is in the ‘About’ page). I bought Temple after I read that it had bought a Radisson hotel in Fort McMurray (or Fort McMoney, as they call it), Alberta, Canada. I had apartments, offices and retail REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) but not hotels. I thought that hotels would be a nice addition to the mix.
“As of December 31, 2011, its hotels were operated as Courtyard by Marriott, Candlewood Suites, Staybridge Suites, Residence Inn by Marriott, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Hyatt Place, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Marriott Hotels and Resorts, Radisson Hotels & Resorts, TownePlace Suites by Marriott, Country Inns & Suites by Carlson, Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts, SpringHill Suites by Marriott, or Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts.”
I have been staying at Radisson and Marriott so let’s own some of them by buying shares in HPT. As an investor, I am now interested in HPT doing well so I wrote to the people in charge of Investor Relations. I am always writing e-mails to the companies I am invested in, but they never seem to pay any attention to my ideas.
I wrote to them to invest in a hotel brand focused on wellness. I have an idea for one. It will be called FIT or APPLE (the clients will get an apple or even two, why not, every day – “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”).
It is not like a certain company that more than doubled the share price in 16 months after I sold almost half of it and then increased by 25% in less than 2 months after I sold my last share in the non-registered account (how much more than $400 can the price get to, I thought), monopolized the word.
I sent HPT some information on what IGH is doing to implement their EVEN brand, along with my suggestions:
1. “Exercise – Guest rooms designed for in-room workouts with multi-functional room amenities (e.g. coat rack that doubles as a pull up bar); best in class gym with equipment and group exercise activities; “Wellness Wall” for fitness options in walking distance, tips and equipment rental; personalized guest service to offer advice on fitness options, ideas and/or instruction; all baked into the service experience, at no added cost to the guest. ”
YES , but no need for the “personalized guest service to offer advice on fitness options,” as travellers who would come to this type of hotel would already know about them. And have swim-in-place pools; a full pool would be too expensive but it was feasible if the hotels of this brand would be fitted with one or two of them this.
2. “Eat – Nutritionally designed menus with a particular focus on natural, fresh, fit and energizing meals – available anytime; an open air café and bar; free flavored filtered water with glass bottles available to fill up and take back to the room; free coffee & mini-smoothies in the morning.”
NO, just have healthy snacks and this “free flavored filtered water with glass bottles available to fill up and take back to the room.” Also, have the location of the hotel near a health food store or one of these smoothies franchises
3. “Work – Rooms with high speed Wi-Fi, multimedia ports, easy access to outlets, ample desk space; and social spaces in the bar and lobby.”
4. “Rest – Rooms offer revitalization and relaxation, including hypoallergenic linens, powerful showerheads, natural lighting, LED dimmers and antibacterial wipes. ”
YES, and a white noise generator in the room.
What this hotel brand (and as a matter of fact any hotel) should have in their store:
And what they shouldn’t have:
Will HPT do anything? I don’t think so but they at least responded: “Management appreciates your suggestion and HPT along with our brand managers, continues to explore opportunities to grow HPT’s portfolio. Please feel free to reach out to us should you need anything further. Best, …. Investor Relations Associate”. Most of the companies I write to they don’t even bother. But when I become an activist investor/large shareholder, the situation will be different as the management will be afraid I will change them so they will rush to respond .